Justin Olivetti

Senior Reporter

A casual gamer and long-time MMO fan, Justin is often heard yelling, "Player housing for all!" in the Massively Overpowered offices. In addition to news, he tackles LOTRO Legendarium for LOTRO, The Perfect Ten, Jukebox Heroes, the retrospective Game Archaeologist series, One Shots, and the Massively OP podcast.

Personal blog: BioBreak
Twitter: @sypster

Star Citizen promises that Alpha 3 patches will be more predictable and regular

Now that Star Citizen’s Alpha 3.0 is finally here, the team has a high outlook for the development process going forward. In this week’s Around the Verse, RSI says that future patches will be more predictable and will come out on specific dates instead of falling behind due to feature delays.

“There was actually a lot of debate as to whether or not we should cut some of the critical foundational features from 3.0 and push them into 3.1,” said Persistent Universe Director Tony Zurovec. “But we really wanted to ensure that we got the basic skeleton for what we’re going to need for all of the evolutionary gameplay enhancements that we’re going to deliver in all of the 3.x series — 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 — on a quarterly basis next year.”

The team is still evaluating how all of the technology that went into 3.0 is functioning together, which is why Patch 3.1 is going to focus on performance and improving the reportedly low frame rates that players are seeing. Past that, Patch 3.2 is slated to receive the first iteration of mining.

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Sea of Thieves breaks down its skelly AI

How do you make a skeleton move, think, and attack?

Maybe you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about such things, but rest assured, the team at Rare definitely does. This isn’t just morbid speculation on their part; Sea of Thieves is riddled with bony undead pirates, and the team wants to make sure that they look and act in interesting and crafty ways.

The skeletons have been in the game for almost a year now, and the developers have been tweaking and improving them ever since. One addition to the skeleton AI is different kinds of perception, so that they can hear you and investigate their surroundings. If a skeleton is hurt from afar, they will start a search to see who might be trying to snipe them.

Check out all of the things that skellys can do after the break!

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Project Genom sees 2018 as a pivotal year for development

After teasing word of its “long-awaited” update, Project Genom delivered a development report to fans in the hopes of bringing them up to speed on what’s been done for this sci-fi sandbox over the holidays.

The big push is the preparations being made to transfer the game from the public test realm to the main servers, which includes a lot of fixes and balance tweaks. The team is also working on the basic functionality of its mechs, expanding quests in the world, and adding a new woodland area.

Project Genom grows and develops, though not as fast as we’d like,” the team said. “In any case, this year must be the most important for our game as we plan to bring the project to the level when it will no longer have to be altered. As soon as we reach this development stage we’ll begin to expand the player’s capabilities and prepare Project Genom for the release.”

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Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones comes together in one of Crowfall’s races

Can’t decide between your love of two popular geek fantasy franchises? Come on over to Crowfall, and you can enjoy both!

The Crowfall art team is happy to announce that work has progressed on two additional gender/race combinations, the male Nethari and the male Half-Elf. The latter can give thanks to pop culture for his outfit: “The inspiration for their gear was a bit of the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones and a bit Ranger from Lord of the Rings. Shrouded in dark fabrics and leathers, they blend into the night and the shadows and walk among the creatures of the world without notice.”

These racial options should be in the game soon. Players who pick the male Nethari can roll up a Confessor, Templar, or Assassin, while the male Half-Elf is all about being a Ranger, Assassin, or Druid. Next on ArtCraft’s plate? The male and female versions of the High Elf. So many Elves, so little time.

Source: Crowfall

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Star Trek Online allows you to re-engineer imperfect mods

Don’t like the gear that you’ve slapped into your starship in Star Trek Online? Don’t ditch or sell it, but instead improve it with the game’s upcoming re-engineering ability.

With this feature, players can re-roll mods that don’t fit their build or are sub-optimal in some way. Re-engineering activities require salvage, a new resource type that is created by breaking down unwanted gear for parts. The studio is testing how much salvage is given for this activity and how much re-engineering costs. The good news is that this feature will also come with “several new epic mods” as carrots to chase.

“We hope re-engineering will be a way for neophyte and veteran Captains alike to better create equipment that matches their particular playstyles and builds,” Cryptic said.

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Multiplayer Civil War game War of Rights expands server capacity and takes the fight to Nicodemus Hill

Civil War battle simulator War of Rights fired its first shot of 2018 with Update 90. It’s a good mid-sized content update that starts off with an increase in server capacity, bringing the population cap up from 90 to 100. In a game that’s all about mass battles, the more the merrier.

The team also added its 13th historical skirmish area, Nicodemus Hill: “In this skirmish area, the Confederates are to defend Jackson’s artillery positioned on Nicodemus Hill from the Union attacking from the direction of Miller farm […] In this alternate scenario, we present the possibilities of what would have happened had Hooker diverted some of his attention to the lightly defended hill and attempted to silence Stuart’s horse artillery shortly after the fighting in the Miller cornfields.”

Other changes with this patch include a balance pass on starting morale, increasing the time to capture skirmish points on larger maps, and a “major overhaul” to the UI.

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Secret World Legends’ NPCs awaken on Twitter

As the Secret World Legends community continues to hold its breath in anticipation of what Funcom is planning for 2018, movement arrives in an unexpected quarter.

Over on Twitter, there have always been several in-character accounts for several of the game’s NPCs that used to chatter back and forth between each other. They’ve been silent for quite some time, but this has all changed in the past 24 hours. Now… they’re talking once more. Does this mean we could be seeing some updates soon?

“Time passes. First in seconds. Then in aeons. If time exists. Two sweetlings awaken,” The Buzzing said.

“This thing working? Feel weird. Like a glitch in the Matrix. @Innsmouth66 you get that?” asked Danny.

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ArcheAge says new fresh start servers coming later in 2018

Now that all of ArcheAge’s fresh start realms have been converted to legacy servers, the community is burning with the question of when — if ever — more fresh start servers will be added to the game.

One player took it upon himself to compile pertinent information from Trion’s recent livestream and put it into a helpful video that addresses this very topic. The answer? We could be seeing some fresh start servers later in 2018. Another consideration for the western version is how the Korean version is working on “remastered” servers instead of more fresh start shards.

“We’re interested in doing fresh start servers this year,” said Associate Producer Seraphina Brennan. “That is definitely something that’s on the table. We pushed it back off from December because it didn’t seem like the right time.”

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EverQuest trots out a new lizardy lockbox

Even with all of the discussion going on about lockboxes these days, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down the release of such packs in some MMOs. EverQuest, for example, is preparing a new Iksar Heritage Crate on the marketplace for January 17th.

This lockbox retails for 799 DBC and contains a chance at several different lizard-themed items, including Iksar armor, familiars, teleport items, a mount, and even a music box. Keep buying and buying and buying these lockboxes, because if you can get all of the teleport items or familiars, you’ll also net a (drum roll) NEW TITLE. Can you feel the goosebumps?

Daybreak is giving subscribers the option to grab a lockbox instead of their normal monthly stipend of 500 DBC. There’s an expiration period on this box, as it’ll disappear from the marketplace on April 17th.

Source: EverQuest. Thanks Reht!

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Elder Scrolls Online drags you kicking and screaming into its Fang Lair

When you hear a name like “Fang Lair,” your first thought is probably similar to that of Indiana Jones: “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” But Elder Scrolls Online is juking around your expectations here, because its upcoming dungeon is anything but a casual stroll through slithering reptiles.

In fact, Fang Lair is an abandoned Dwarven fortress from way back in the first Elder Scrolls game, Arena. ZeniMax is repurposing this location to be an underground complex full of necromancers and their undead abominations. One necromancer in particular, Orryn the Black, is attempting to raise a giant zombie dragon, and it’s up to players to put a swift end to that.

“Fang Lair is a location people haven’t seen since The Elder Scrolls: Arena,” said Dungeon Lead Mike Finnigan. “However, in that game, players saw it in a very different light. In The Elder Scrolls Online, we wanted to expand upon the lore behind it, and we thought this was a chance to really flesh out its story.”

The dungeon promises to be on the more difficult side, but ZeniMax is offering all sorts of tantalizing rewards for those who master it, including a dragon skull decoration and the Worm Wizard personality.

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RuneScape dishes out its 2018 roadmap

Get ready to “juice your sq’irks,” whatever that means, because RuneScape is hitting 2018 at a dead run. Looking at the year ahead, Jagex had plenty to say about some of the content coming to the game over the next several months.

Upcoming events and patches include a giant eyeball dungeon, RuneScape’s 17th birthday (with cake!), a divination outfit, more use for gems, benefits from the bank rework, and an aura interface. And that’s just January.

“The move away from expansions bears fruit, and the fruits are juicy,” teased Mod Raven. More fun additions and changes are planned for the spring, such as a Robin Hood outfit, a clue scroll log, deep sea fishing, a group ironman mode, a minigame hub, a calendar of events, and the launch of RuneScape Mobile later this year.

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Blizzard’s Battle.net app gets an upgrade

The next iteration for Blizzard’s launch application is here, and no, it doesn’t include yet another name change.

The changes mostly come in the form of quality-of-life improvements to the Battle.net application, such as being able to launch Blizzard games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch straight from the task bar or dock. Unnamed bug fixes are come part and parcel of this update.

Players who use the Blizzard app for its social features will be pleased to hear that groups are now easier for admins to handle. Also, both groups and chats now benefit from improvements and an “updated experience.”

Source: Icy Veins

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CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 shows signs of life

It was the beep heard ’round the world.

Cyberpunk 2077’s Twitter account, which has laid dormant since December 2013, suddenly came alive today with a single word. Considering the reputation of CD Projekt Red and the long-standing secrecy over the highly anticipated multiplayer game, the tweet instantly galvanized a community and whipped up speculation that we could be hearing a lot more about the sci-fi title — or even seeing it this year.

The game was originally announced back in 2012 with a couple of teasers and some scant information, including the fact that it would contain some sort of online component. However, ever since 2013 CD Projekt Red has been incredibly quiet on Cyberpunk 2077’s status, emerging only to say that the game was still being made and that it won’t have an abusive business model. PCGamesN has a great summary of everything we know about the project to date, but here’s hoping that we’ll be learning a lot more very soon.

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